Does Science Lead To Atheism
Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
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Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim, Al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was salam, ala rasulillah. Brothers and sisters and friends, I greet you with the warmest Islamic greetings of peace. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
For those who don't know, that means May the peace and blessings of God be upon you all.
Today we're going to be talking about the failed hypothesis has science killed religion. And I'm going to talk about two main things. The first thing I'm going to talk about is, does science lead to atheism? Because we hear about this quite a bit, especially in the online sphere.
Also, we're going to be talking about well, has science led to the denial of religion, the denial of Revelation, so I'm gonna address these two key topics.
I think it's very important for us to understand that there is a distinction between what the academics say and what happens on Google. Okay, I think that's very important for us to understand this, because the very fact that we have to give such a lecture or talk is a symptom of a cause was a symptom of a problem. And the problem is that there is a bit of a gap, especially in Western society, especially in Britain, between what's happening in academia, and what's happening in popular culture. Yes, there are overlaps. Sometimes there's some kind of link, but generally speaking, there is a gap amongst certain groups of people. And this is why I think the British
government had to basically come up with the project called impact, which was to make an impact. The professors and the academics had to basically, you know, engage in popular cultural discourse to bridge that gap. And to do so they would make an impact, right. So this is one of the reasons why I think the British government did that. So I want you to really understand that this question really, is not much of a question when it comes to academic discourse, because professors and academics, especially comes to the first point that I mentioned earlier, you know, does science into atheism, they would say, even if the atheist, they would say, No, it doesn't.
And that's we have to be very honest, it just doesn't. Simple as that. And I'm going to try and explain why that's the case.
So let's start with the first thing that we that we want to speak about, which is does science lead to atheism? Does science lead to the denial of God? Well, this is a false assertion. And the reason it's a false assertion is based on full false assumptions. Okay? The first assumption is, science is the only yardstick for truth. Right? So if you have that false assumption that science is the only yardstick for truth. And science can't really deal with a metaphysical notion like God, because he's not in the universe. He's not physical in the universe. Therefore,
God doesn't exist because science is the only yardstick for truth. And we can't use science to try and prove this metaphysical notion. And science can't even deal with the idea of God, therefore, he doesn't exist. And that's the kind of assumption here. The second assumption is Hold on a second guys, science works. keyhole surgery, the iPhone science works. Therefore, it is true. And if it's true, and science can only deal with things that you can observe, and God by definition, you can't observe, therefore, God doesn't exist. Yes, it's very fuzzy logic. But that's the assumption here. The third false assumption is science leads to certainty. It leads to certainty, absolute truth.
These are scientific facts, the unchanging it's the Moses tablets, right? You get lots of people talk like this, sometimes it's pretty on Twitter, and Instagram, and YouTube and all those funny places, right? So if it leads to certainty, and science cannot deal with a metaphysical notion that you can't observe like a creator, therefore, God doesn't exist, because science can only be certain about things other than God, for example, yes, that's fuzzy logic. But that's the basis of that assumption, that false assumption. The fourth fourth assumption is basically people adopt philosophical naturalism. And they misunderstand methodological naturalism. And I don't want to give
you a huge headache, headache with lots of terms. I'm going to discuss that a bit later. So those are the four false assumptions. Now before I get to, before I break down those four false assumptions, lets us really understand what science is okay? In a general but in a basic way, so we really understand what we're talking about here. Science is not just what you observe, we have to first understand that observations are required for science, but science or scientific theories and conclusions are not just observations, okay? So when I see the moon, and therefore the moon exists, that's not really a scientific theory or scientific
explanation is just, I'm mirroring my observations. Okay? Science requires observations. And what science does it reasons, right? It uses reason to understand the observations themselves. So say you have more than five observations, you see, five opposite observations are about a particular phenomenon. You use now your rational faculties to make inferences, or to see if there's any connections between these observations and to understand them holistically to understand them in a comprehensive way. That's essentially science, right? And that's the beauty of science. Now, Bertrand Russell, he said in his book, religion and science science published by Oxford scientists
that attempt to discover by means of observation and reasoning based upon it. So it's by means of observation, you have observation, direct and indirect observation. And you reason over those observations. And he continues to basically discover particular facts about the world and the law is connecting facts about with one another. So that's essentially what science is, yes, there's much more to it than that. The method is a very interesting method. And there are debates amongst the philosophers of science concerning its method. For example, if you're a preparing Karl Popper, you might, you know, want to adopt falsification. But if you're a soft preparing, you'd be like, it's
useful. But you know, falsified theories can change. If you change the assumptions, you can revive falsified theories, if you change the assumptions is big debates about these things, but let's put them to the side. The point is, you require observations, and you require require a rational mind a human intellect to understand those observations, that in essence is science. Okay, so now we've got that out of the way. Let's go to the first false assumption because what we're dealing with here now, we're basically saying, well, science doesn't need to atheism and the assertion that people express that science does lead to atheism is based on false for false assumptions. The first false
assumption is science is the only yardstick for truth. Now, the first problem with the first false assumption is, it's self defeating. If I say to you guys, science is the only yardstick for truth. And that statement itself has to be true. Then I will just basically say to you, can you prove that statement scientifically,
know, itself, self defeating?
That's the first point. We'll go home now. Let's get a pizza. So it's self defeating. It's, it's almost like saying, there are no sentences in the English language longer than three words. But I've just uttered a sentence that's longer than three words, okay. Now, that's the first point. The second point I want to mention is, well, science is not the only yardstick for truth. Why? Because observations are always going to be limited. And truth will always change from that point of view. And that's one of the beauties of science. Now the atheist and the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology, Professor Eliot, sober, he basically says in his essay called empiricism,
that any moment in time scientists are limited to the observations they have at hand, they just think of just use your intellect here, it's so obvious that you may have another observation that can contradict your previous conclusions based upon your previous limited observations. So therefore, truth can change in science, which is one of the beauties of science, truth can change, what we consider to be true can change. So science is limited to what it can observe. And not only can its truth claims change, but its scope, and its area of focus is limited, therefore, you can't answer other questions. Because there are many things that you can't observe directly or indirectly,
but yet we believe them to be true. For example, necessary logical truths, you can't observe necessary logical connections, or necessary logical links between logical properties in deductive logic, I know that sounds really crazy. I'm gonna explain it later. Okay, but you can't observe that you buy in, by the way, you have to have that before you do science.
So it's limited observation. The third point, scientists morally neutral, or in other words, is amoral. Now, what I mean by this, I don't mean scientists are immoral. Of course not, God forbid, right? What I'm saying here is although scientists are human beings too, and sometimes we have a cultural thing, just because he's a scientist. He's like, you know, the religion of the white coats right? You have that kind of assumption sometimes in popular discourse, right.
Anyway, so science is, is morally neutral. What do I mean by this? Well, there are many things that we take to be first principles in moral theory in meta ethics, meaning that there are some things
We consider to be objectively morally true. There are objective moral values in the world there are objective moral truths. Not all of them. But I am a true believer that we all believe in objective moral truths. regardless what society tells us, regardless what individual minds tell us. And regardless what our intuitions or our psychological, our emotions tell us, right? So let me give an example. You go home, you're tired from work or university, and you turn the television and you see breaking news. And the headline says, Man be had a five year old. Now, that's morally wrong, right?
Yes, yes. No.
All right. Let's assume you said no. Right. And emphatic No, of course, a so we said yes, rather, what was my question? I'm gonna get myself in trouble.
It's morally wrong. Correct. Good. Now, next question. Is it objectively morally wrong?
For example, if the whole world were to come and say to you, it's okay to behead a five year old it still be morally wrong? And if individual minds, right, and individual human beings with their own emotional disposition came to you said, No, let me justify to intellectually and emotionally you'd be like, no, it's still morally wrong. This would mean by objective, it's outside of the limited human mind in a way outside of limited emotions, and therefore requires some kind of grounding, will explain and takes into account the objectivity of that moral value. And where did it come from? If we consider some morals, to be objective? In this sense, science has no say, science is asleep. It
has no say in this issue. Why? Because science can't provide a rational basis for the objectivity of moral values for objective moral truths and values. Why? Well, let's remind ourselves what Charles Darwin said it he gave an extreme example, concerning this notion. He basically said, if we were to be reared under precisely the same conditions as the highest Viz, we think it's okay to kill our brothers and okay lk to kill off hotel daughters. Now, if you extend that logic and you talk about the nurse shock, you no one would argue that if we were reared under precisely the same biological conditions as the nurse shock, we would think is okay to rape women. That's what the net shock does
check the National Geographic. It the nurse shark bites the fin of its mate and wrestles its mate, which is tantamount equivalent to
force meeting, rape, right? So there is a problem here because all the Darwinian mechanism can do or to be more specific, or that natural selection can do is provide us with the ability to formulate ethical rules. We agree with this. It gives you the ability to formulate ethical rules, but it doesn't give you a foundation to justify or take into account objective moral truths. Why? Because these morals are subject not objective anymore, they're subject to inevitable biological changes. Not only that, morals lose any meaning. Under biology, they lose meaning because it's just almost arbitrary, like a result of a accident to rearing of certain biological conditions. That's why
scientists amoral from this perspective, or morally neutral from this perspective.
The fourth point is that science can't delve into the personal into the personal. Now what do I mean by this? Now, for my post grad, I did a thesis on the on physicalism and neuroscience and the hard problem of consciousness, okay. And this dwells with what's happening inside ourselves, the person Okay. Now, science can't deal with the hard problem of consciousness. Yes, it does great work concerning
you know, how we think, cognition, the fact that we are able to think and you can do all of these things, but can science do with what really makes us human? The fact that we have inner subjective conscious states, for example.
You know, who likes strawberries? I'm thinking Australia had had 400 grams of strawberries this morning. That's what I'm thinking. Right? Everyone likes strawberries right? Now when you have a strawberry on, on a Sunday morning with some some double cream. There is an internal experience that you having there's an internal subjective conscious experience that you having. You could ask the question, what is it like for Abdulle or Susan or john or Fatima to have a strawberry on a Sunday morning dipped in double cream? What is it like
Answer cannot be found using science. Because we're dealing with someone's inner subjective conscious state. And if I were to know everything about the human mind, and map out all the neurochemical electrochemical happenings, and firings, right, and coordinate them with someone's experience, I will still not know what it's like for that person to have that experience, because it's just a neuroscience is a study of correlations. It's just a study of correlations. So I would not know what it's like for that person to have that inner subjective conscious experience. All I have are utterances linguistic utterances of the description of the inner subjective conscious
state. It's crispy, it's sweet, it's lovely, right? or whatever the case may be. These are linguistic utterances which represent meaning, which is a representation of what's happening inside, you still don't know what is sweet for that person. And what is crunchy for that person. That's the hard problem of consciousness. In a nutshell, it requires another lecture. But that's generally it right? This is why Professor Thomas Nagel, he makes a really good point. And he raised his point in his famous paper, I believed it was published in 1973, or 1974. When he wrote ways I'd like to be a bat, right? And he said, Look, science is a problem. methodologically it's limited, because science
is the third person fact. So how can third person fact deal with First Person fact? There you go. And the debate continues. Right? By the way, I'm not saying I've solved the problem here, or I'm expressing, you know, all the views in five minutes, there'll be highly arrogant of me. It's a big massive discussion. But generally speaking, when I give these lectures is to plant seeds in your heart and mind. So you continue your own intellectual spiritual journey. I'm not here to teach you anything.
Rather, I consider these lectures therapy for myself, right? So the next point, science can't answer why things happen. That's another limitation of science. Imagine my auntie came along here, right? And my auntie is very good at cooking. And she baked nice chocolate ghetto, massive one, like 25 inches, right? Chocolate Kitto ghetto, right? And then she left. she vowed silence. And she left. Let me ask you the question as a scientist, why did she bake the cake?
Come on scientists. Why did she make the cake? Sorry? To be eaten? Maybe not. Maybe she just want to show how artistic it is. That's an assumption.
Why does she bake the cake? Oh, scientists?
What's the purpose of the cake? That's what we mean when we're saying Why? Well, you never know. But if I asked you how she baked the cake, you don't have to ask her. If you have the right tool, the right method and the the right amount of time. You could tell me how she baked the cake. You could test the kind of I don't know protein bonds and all my sciences rubbish. But you know what we know what's going on in a cake. Something's happening in a cake. There are protein bonds in the cake. Right? There you go. I was right. I don't know for me. Yeah. So there's some biology stuff happening in chemicals happening right? You could assess that and find out how she makes the cake. But you
can't tell me why on earth she made the cake. So science with limited from that point of view. He can't tell you about the purpose of things.
The next issue is that science is not the only yardstick for truth. Because there are other sources of knowledge. And for me, this is the most frustrating is that people don't really, people are not even bothered to read a basic philosophy book.
if you're 16 years old, and you know by a liveable standard book on epistemology, the study of knowledge, and you would see that there are other sources of knowledge other than just touching and feeling things. One of them include testimony, believe it or not, they say so of others. And let me summarize what I'm saying with what happened a few years ago with Professor Lawrence Krauss. So obviously, I did a few mistakes as well. People change if you're the same person you were four years ago, then you have issues. So, you know, I follow kind of a Bruce Lee philosophy should be like a river. They keep on flowing, right? So I'm not the same person. You don't step in the same river
twice as they say, because it's changing, isn't it? Yeah. But anyway, there are some good things to learn from that discussion with Mr. Kraus. And I sit across Hey, Krauss, I didn't do it that way. But you know, I mean, said, Hey, Professor Krauss, you have a metaphysical presupposition. You think that truth is as a result of what you touch and feel that yes, of course, I'm a scientist. And I said fine, but there are other sources of knowledge is it like what and I said, testimony and he sniggered at me, is that I just do the science and I said, Well do this science. Do you believe in evolution? He said, Yes, of course. I follow the evidence. And I said to him, Have you done all the
experiments yourself? Have you done all the stuff
yourself. And then he paused, everybody started to laugh at him or lots of people started to laugh at him. Why? Because it exposed his metaphysical presupposition, it is true, that he has to rely on the face of other scientists, because he noted the science himself. And if you rely just on your own experiments that you've done directly, you will never have the science you have today. And that's the breach of human knowledge, you have to rely on other people. And that's why if you study the scientific method,
you'd see that a key part of the scientific method, or the sayings of other scientists are the conclusions of other scientists that you may claim, yes, but these studies are repeatable, and they have been repeated. If you haven't repeated it yourself. It's still the case of others.
It could be one scientist or 500. The fact that they are telling you the basis of that knowledge is not empirical. It's the seaso of others. Now, what's very interesting, there's been a revival in western epistemology. On the issue of testimony in the past 30 to 40 years. For example, you had the 1991 book by Professor Cody, he wrote the book testimony, a philosophical discussion. And he basically argues that testimony is not only a source of knowledge, it's a fundamental source of knowledge. It's fundamental, it's indispensable. And so he basically argues that testimony is not only useful, but it's a fundamental source. And he quotes David Hume, the famous Scottish skeptic
that disagrees with Professor Cody. And David Hume basically says, look, testimony is useful for the wise man. But we only accept testimony, we only accept testimony, because it's in line with our collective experiences. So Professor Cody being a genius, what does he say? His hold on Mr. David Hume?
What do you mean by collective experiences? Because the only way to understand other people's experiences is to ask them and they'll tell you. So he he's actually shown that testimony, the safety of others is fundamental to knowledge. Because if David Hume is saying that, yes, testimony is useful, but it's not fundamental, because it has to be in line with our collective experiences. Well, how do you know what people's collective experiences are? It's only via testimony. So it's a really good book that you should read that shows that testimony is fundamental. And oh, by the way, testimony, knowledge could be wrong, just like our empirical knowledge could be wrong. I'm not
saying it's accurate. I'm saying it's a fundamental source. Now what we have to do to find out what constitutes valid testimonial knowledge, that's a different philosophical discussion. And what's very interesting has many talking about this, Dr. Elizabeth fricker, she makes a really good point, she says, look, given my limitations as parametric given that I'm a limited human being, I can't know everything, I have to rely on the authority of others, which is simple as that.
Benjamin McMillan, associate, Associate Professor Benjamin mackmyra, he says that in order to have testimonial knowledge, the one who's giving the knowledge has to basically have the responsibility of referring back to people's challenges. And the audience that's receiving the testimonial knowledge, they have to basically, it's within their right to challenge the one who's giving the testimonial knowledge. You have, for example, American professor, Keith Lehrer, he's brilliant, you know, he says, He says, in order for testimonial knowledge to be valid, or to be constituted as knowledge, you have to be trustworthy. In your assessments on the trustworthiness of others.
A lot of you know about Islamic theology, this is in line with what Muslims have been discussing for 1400 years in the study of prophetic traditions, animal Hadith, when we talk about the trustworthiness of the reporter. Anyway, I went too much in testimony. The point is, testimonial knowledge is a fundamental source of knowledge. And I want to end this part by asking you a question.
How do you know China exists?
Many of us it fundamentally based on testimonial knowledge, even if you have pictures, even if you have images on a map.
Someone told you that's the picture of Chinese people in China. And even if you met Chinese person today, oh, you have to just believe what they said. His testimonial Really?
Also, what's testimonial is your mother being the one that gave birth to you? You have zero proof. Don't even tell him you have a DNA test certificate. Because you don't. And if you did, let's do testimonial. It's a certificate, a testimony that someone did something you didn't do yourself. Right. So from that point of view, how do you your mother gave birth to you? You only know because of testimonial evidence the fact that your dad told you the midwife told you there's a certificate. There may be a video right? The video is not empirical because you didn't come out like that, but did you with a beard and glasses and a laptop? Imagine that wouldn't be a miracle.
God exists, right? So you didn't you have capital from your mother's womb like that? Well, you know, you had a different face.
oversee FOMO kita. So, yeah. So from that point of view, someone has to tell you hey, that was you and you were a child. So when it comes to things like China and the existence that the fact that you believe that your mother gave birth to you so testimonial knowledge, so it's not true that science is the only source of of truth The only yardstick for truth because we have other sources of knowledge like testimony.
final point to do with the first assumption which is science cannot prove necessary truths. And this is very interesting. science can prove necessary truths and these necessary truths are required before you do any science. For example, logic, logical reasoning, deductive logic. Number one.
All bachelors are unmarried men. Number two, john is a bachelor number three, therefore john is a unmarried man. This is what you call, a valid deductive argument is also sound. A valid deductive argument is where the conclusion necessarily follows from the previous statements or premises. A sound deductive argument if it's valid and also the premises have some form of justification. This is a sound deductive argument. I repeat, number one, all bachelors are unmarried men. Number two, john is a bachelor number three therefore Johnny's unmarried man, this is a necessary conclusion.
science can prove these necessary conclusions.
Because we know that the conclusion necessarily follows not because of the meaning of the previous premises, but rather there are logical relations between the logical properties of that deductive argument of those premises there is a logical relation between unmarried john bachelor and men, there is a logical relation science cannot warrant take into account justify explain those logical
So there you go.
You need this before you do any science at Duquesne that science is the only yardstick for truth is extremely problematic because you require necessary truths like deductive arguments or
logical relations between logical properties in order for you to even do any science in the first place. So the first assumption, in my humble opinion, is not a valid assumption.
Next point. Well,
the second false assumption is science works. Therefore its conclusions are true. science works, guys. Therefore, its conclusions are true. Well, that's not true.
Let me explain. If we study the history of science, you will see that there were theories that were working, that provided things that we now call truths, but we eventually found out that those theories are false. For example, in the 1700s, there was this workable theory called the theory of phlogiston. Okay, the theory of phlogiston was this theory, if things were combustible, they can burn, they would release floor gastic heated air, Dan Rutherford, in 1772, he used this workable theory, and he discovered nitrogen, nitrogen. But after a few more years, they found out that the theory itself was false. This shows us that you can get a truth from a workable theory that's
eventually found to be false.
So, there you go. It's not true that just because science works, it must be true. That is a false assumption. You have the philosopher summit, or kashia. In his book philosophy of science, he says, historically, there are many cases of theories that we now believe to be false, but they were empirically quite successful. Also, you have Professor Eliot, so but he says, false models can sometimes work better than true ones, than true ones. So the second assumption that science works, therefore is it's true is a false assumption. Let's go to the third false assumption. The third false assumption is science leads to certainty. I mean, who says this you know, when people throw
out there I in the popular sphere had this this morning, my Facebook I think, someone said, you know, scientific fact, like this, like Moses tablets coming from God Himself. And there's a Moses tablet code scientific fact number 345. Yeah, and it gives you the fact and that Moses tablet cannot change is engraved in stone. scientific facts are not like de, they're not like that.
For example, many of you who believe the Darwinian mechanism to be a scientific
Fact, which basically means in scientific language, a world confirm theory that can change. That's what it means. That's what it means people, even the evangelical Richard Dawkins, who's like in love with the Darwinian mechanism, he writes about it. And he's a popularizer. And he's an academic. He even said, I think it's in his book, The Devil's chaplain, he said, We're in 10 years or in the future, we could have future observations that can really contradict or change the way we see the Darwinian mechanism, it could look completely different.
So when we say scientific fact, we mean,
it's well confirmed, but it may change. Some scientific facts are unlikely to change, some unlikely to change. But the point is, they both have a likelihood to change in some way.
science doesn't lead to certainty from that point of view. Now, why is it the case that science doesn't need to say to the because of the problem of induction science relies heavily on induction? What is induction is like a thinking process where you have a limited set of observations and data. And as a result of your limited observations and data, you conclude for the next observation that you have not observed, or the entire set of observations that you haven't observed, it moves from the known to the unknown. For example, if I've observed that 1000 white sheep, I may conclude the next sheep is going to be white. But is it true? Is it necessarily true? Is 100% true? No, it's
likely to be true given my observations that I limited by may observe a black sheep, right.
So that's the problem reduction, it's probabilistic. It's not what you call a definite knowledge. From that point of view, it may change you may have a future observation that contradicts previous conclusions. So let me give you a principle, just for it to be in your mind, that can always be a new observation that can be at odds with our conclusions. Based on our limited data. Based on our previous limited data, I repeat, they can always be new observation that can be at odds without conclusions based on on previous limited data. And that is the beauty of science.
Because it changes and it adapts as a result of the new observations in direct or direct observations we have experienced.
And this is why philosophers of science, Gideon Barker and Philip kitcher, they say in the book philosophy of science and introduction published by Oxford, sciences revisable. Hence to talk of scientific proof is dangerous, because the term fosters the idea of conclusions that are graven in stone. Now, before we move on to the final false assumption, I want to talk about just a quick note on for suffocation. Now, Karl Popper, he understood the problem induction is science. You can't prove scientific theories to be true. In a philosophical sense, you can't prove scientific theories to be true in an absolute philosophical sense. You can just show that they were confirmed, but they
may not be true, from that point of view, from from a philosophical point of view, and he felt that was a problem. And he agreed, you can't solve the problem of induction. So what did he What did he invent, if you like, he basically brought into existence this idea of falsification. He said, scientific theories can't be proven to be true in an absolute way, but they can be proven to be false. The knowledge that you can have his knowledge of what theories are force, that's the knowledge that scientists should be looking for.
And he could this falsification. Now, what is falsification in a nutshell, it is
the following if a theory claims that something would be observed under certain circumstances, and it is not observed, then the theory is proved false. Listen to this theory I made up earlier ribbit.
Not remember, ready? All birds that die on a Friday will do so in midflight. theory,
beautiful Syria, all birds that die on a Friday will do so in mid flight. How do you falsify this theory?
You observe a bird that is not flying, it's on the ground and it's walking, and it's a Friday and it died while walking. My theory is falsified.
That's falsifications. Okay. Now, what's very interesting is
he was not entirely true, because you can have falsified theories that can be brought back to life. It's like an epistemic intellectual resuscitation.
And all you need to do is change the auxiliary assumptions. That's why many academics, scientists and philosophers of science, they don't really take for granted.
100% seriously, from the point of view of being a hard to prepare in the more soft preparing, it's useful to have theories that are falsifiable. But it's not as simple as that. Because if you tweak the assumptions, something that a theory that was dead can be revived. Let me give an example.
How do we discover Neptune?
Does anyone know how we discovered Neptune?
No, no, I found it.
We discovered Neptune because, you know, orbits were like, wow, you know, orbits are really nice and smooth and they're doing their thing, right. And, you know, if we, if we have another planet like Uranus, it's, it's always should be the same smooth musical cosmic dance, right? But Uranus seemed to be a bit drunk. It had a wobbly orbit, the perturbations of Uranus. He was like, whoo, I'm a bit tipsy. Yeah, so Uranus was tipsy. So the problem here is, what do they do? Do they now say, look, this has falsified our theories about orbits? No, they just changed the assumption and what was the assumption?
They said there's no other planets. So they changed the assumption saying maybe there's another planet that's closer to Uranus, that is affecting the orbit of Uranus. And that's how they discovered Neptune.
So falsified theories
in the at the onset can be revived as a result of tweaking your assumptions. And by tweaking those assumptions, you discover new scientific truths. And they you thought science was simple.
the fourth final assumption behind the assertion that science leads to atheism, which is based on philosophical naturalism, and methodological naturalism, let's discuss this assumption. So people who believe that science leads to atheism, they really hold a non scientific assumption. What is that non scientific assumption? It's the philosophical worldview of philosophical naturalism. It's not scientific. What's philosophical naturalism. philosophical naturalism is based on three things. Number one, the belief that there is no divine the assertion that there's no divine number two, that assertion that
all physical phenomena can be explained, all phenomena can be explained by physical processes. And number three, there is no afterlife, which is similar to the idea of that there's no divine. So what's philosophical naturalism? There's no divine, no hereafter. And all phenomena in the universe can be explained by physical processes. Now, what's the problem with that? If these are the lenses that you put on your eyes to see the world? Then what are you going to see? You're just going to see the denial of the Divine, because these are your lenses. Right? So you go to optometrist, and you buy some glasses, Calvin Klein, the atheist edition, you put it on your face, where you're gonna see
you're gonna see got nowhere, you see no divine power. Right.
And so you have the likes of many scientists that, you know, will respect for the scientific endeavors. But frankly, you know, they had the wrong lenses on. And they were, they had non scientific assumptions on their faces as lenses, which was Calvin Klein, atheist edition.
And so if you adopt that false philosophical assumption that basically is literally based on blind faith in my view, then all you're going to see is the denial of the Divine because you started with that premise. You put those lenses on, and even the atheist himself, Professor microbrews, a very honest, atheist philosopher, he says, if you want a concession, I've always said that naturalism, philosophical naturalism is an act of faith, faith. And that's why when you discuss with people, don't discuss the science, discuss the assumptions that people are holding, and you have a more fruitful discussion.
The next part of this assumption is methodological naturalism. Now, this is not a problem for theists, especially the Islamic tradition. Now, what's methodological naturalism? It's basically the assertion that for any scientific conclusion or theory to be scientific, it cannot refer to the divine power or creativity. That's all it's saying. It doesn't say God doesn't exist. It just says, for your science, to be science, for your conclusion, to be scientific, for your theory, to be scientific, just don't refer to God's power or divine wisdom or creativity. And this is not a problem for the Muslim because the Muslim believes that the whole universe is made up of physical
causes. And these are as bad in Arabic. These are causes that God has used to manifest His Divine Will. That's not a problem for the Muslim. But what some people do is they conflate methodological naturalism, and they think it means for the Safa naturalism, not
Because you could be a methodological naturalist that when you do science you don't refer to God's divine power, creativity, but you can still be a theist that believes in God.
Of course you can there's no contradiction because your philosophy could be, well, those physical causes are a manifestation of the Divine Will no problem.
So they conflate methodological naturalism, with
with philosophical naturalism. And that's why evolutionary biologist Scott, see Todd, he said, of course, the scientist as an individual is free to embrace a reality that transcends naturalism, methodological naturalism in this case. So, does science lead to atheism? No, we've taken the full false assumptions, we've broken them down. So therefore, we can conclude in a intellectually healthy way that science does not lead to atheism.
Next point of today's discussion was science disproves religion, a disproves religion, you have all of these scientific things that are happening, all these conclusions and things that we consider a fact and your revelation, whether it's the Bible, whether it's the Quran, whether it's your prophetic traditions, whether it's your scriptures, they are saying some things are not really scientific. So would you do as someone who believes in a religious worldview? Now when it comes from the Muslim point of view, what do you do? Say for example, I was born in in the 19th century, and there was the scientific fact at that time that the universe had no beginning. So say I'm a
scientist and I adopt that yes, universe has no beginning. I'm a Muslim in the 19th century, universe has no beginning. Then I go read my scripture. My Quran. Universe has a beginning. What do I do?
I believe the Quran he says.
toss a coin.
Okay, let me go to the coin jokey.
You have to believe in the testament of some people, right? Well, that's a very good point. He's, he's been listening. See, from my point of view, from my point of view, you could do both. Let me tell you what I mean by both, I'd be very careful here. You can, as a scientist accept the fact given what we discussed about the philosophy of science doesn't need absolute certainty can change can I fit your observation that could be the previous conclusions you can accept as a limited human endeavor that produces limited conclusions that are not absolutely true. And you can accept it practically as a scientist, that based on our human limited knowledge, that this is what we've
concluded, but it's not true that I have to enter into my creed or my philosophical worldview. But it's true from the point of view that is practical. But I can still accept the Quran because it comes from a source. That is true, absolutely.
And therefore, you could never say science now. contradicts revelation, especially my Muslim point of view, because you've just committed an epistemic disqualification, once human limited knowledge, once divine knowledge. It's as simple as that. And you can't even compare the both because one is, for example, one understands the picture. The other just observes the pixel
exists. It's no problem. You could respect both. And you could adopt both one practically and understand its limitations as a human endeavor. And we've just been doing it practically. And you you keep with the divine revelation, because you know, it's from the divine. Now, that's a different discussion. Obviously, you know, it's from the divine Hamza, different lecture maybe next year. But the point is, don't commit this epistemic disqualification by saying, Hey, here's some scientific truth that we know that may change. And if now, since we've learned some things about the philosophy of science, they may not be absolute. And it seems to be seems to contradict religious discourse,
the Quran, for example, and we can't reconcile it at all. Right? That's another assumption, assuming that you can't reconcile it, would you do? You accept both one practically, and one you accept philosophically and in your creed? And you know, it's absolutely the other. It's a pixelated understanding of the world.
Allah, God has the picture. We've just got a pixel.
And this is life. And that's the history of science for you really. Now, let me give you a case study, Darwinian mechanism, because for some reason, for some reason, I don't really get this. For some reason Muslims, even Christians are our beloved brothers and sisters in the Christian tradition and other religions and people who believe in God. And even people who are just in the middle right now, people on the fence, they're skeptics, they don't know what's going on. They think Darwinism is a problem for religious discourse. It's not, I just don't get it. It's I've been I've been sitting in the sidelines for the past few years thinking, What's the problem? How is there a problem?
I don't get it.
If someone just
understands and studies the foundations of science, the philosophy of science, this wouldn't be become a problem for you anymore. Let me explain why.
Darwinism suffers from all the limitations that we just spoke about in the philosophy of science. And we've developed a thing called pad.
Darwinism suffers from pad. It's probabilistic. It has its own assumptions, and they are academic, this speaks about certain aspects of Darwinism. This doesn't mean you reject it. Oh, my god, no, yeah. It's no, it's not like, you know, this, this this force of evil that you just reject. Now, you accept it practically, with the notion that it's probabilistic? Because it's based on limited data, you may have future data in genetics, for example, epigenetics seems to be you know, a bit of a challenge to the kind of old school thinking on the Darwinian mechanism are most scientists don't know much about this is based on testimony, of course, but things are happening, right? Things are
happening. So you may have future observations and understanding of genetics or other things that can contradict previous conclusions about Darwinism itself. So it's probabilistic. You don't have all knowledge. You don't have all the observations, right?
Secondly, Darwinism is based on assumptions. And these assumptions include gradualism, the tree of life,
and then many other assumptions. But you have to adopt gradualism as an assumption. Right? In order for you to understand the observation is not the other way around. So it's an assumption. And this is why Dennis noble, the Oxford University biologist, he said, all the central assumptions of Neo Darwinism have have been disproven. So it's based on some assumptions. And also he has disputes for example, you have disputes like evolution by natural genetic engineering, new lamarckian evolution, mutation driven evolution, now long to be honest with you. I don't have an academic understanding on these, right. But and I don't have to adopt them. I'm not saying they're right. But they exist. A
dispute exists on the academic level. assumptions are this study the philosophy of biology, study the assumptions of the Darwinian mechanism, they are unproven assumptions, and is probabilistic meaning you don't have all observations that may change. So how on earth is there a problem? For the for Muslims, at least? How is it a problem? It's only a problem if you've committed an epistemic disqualification, if you believe human limited knowledge is equivalent to divine knowledge. And not has happened only because we have an incredibly complex. And because we don't know who it is, because if we believe in Gods names and attributes, he's al Hakim, he's the wise. He has the
totality of wisdom, he's an alien, he is the knowing he has the totality of knowledge. If you believe he is the Why is the knowing and he has the picture, we just have a pixel, this would never have been a problem.
And we just continue the science and love to do science.
and accept it practically, you know, you could study the Darwinian mechanism as a Muslim, and learn how to deal with antibiotics and learn about bacteria and save the world. And like many Muslims do, because the Quran gives us a spiritual driving principle value, which says if you save one, life is like saying, saving the whole of humanity. You go, we're gonna do start walking out your Darwinism lectures. Come on, man.
Do you see my point? It's not a problem. And if you see reconcilable with orthodoxy, then so be it. Science is beautiful. It's supposed to change. And that's what the Darwinian mechanism is probabilistic, from the point of view that you can have future observations that can can can contradict things that we understand today is based on assumptions that are unproven. And there are academic disputes about certain key things of science, like, Is it the tree of life? Is it the bush of life, you know?
But it's true, these actually that exists, the bush of life idea exists. So there you go. So I don't see how it's a problem. So as a Muslim, you could walk into your biology class, and you could listen to the lecturer. And you could be empowered by the fact that you understand now what you call an Arabic the suit of science, the foundations, the framework, the principles of the philosophy of science.
Let me give you a little story. A few years ago, they discovered the Higgs boson, who knows who the Higgs boson is.
Okay, some of you know the Higgs boson right? was a particle they found they observed this particle. Now originally, they said look in the early stages of the universe, particles had no mass, but the Higgs field was switched on. Someone switched it on I don't know who well we know who brought into play with the idea for a while just to get excited here. Someone search the universe, the Higgs field on and the Higgs field gave particles bass apart from the photon, right.
So it gave gave particles mass.
Now they found the particle that made up the Higgs field.
And popular magazines, YouTube, Google, even some atheist, frankly, let's be honest, you know, the ones who don't know much about science, especially the philosophy of science. And they read popular magazines and popular books and think they know all right, some of them. Yeah. Those types are like, Oh, they found the God Particle. That's what they called it, the good particle. I had Muslims email me saying, Oh, my God, my faith has hit the floor, because they found the God Particle.
It had really nothing to do with God. It wasn't even about the beginning of the universe, it was that it was off to the beginning of the universe, he was the how, you know, this happened because God does a manifestation of God's will.
The reason they call it the God Particle is because it was lazy journalism guys, it was so hard to find the code of the goddamn particle. And they just removed the word Damn.
That's it. And it's a shame that popular headlines now increases the face of the atheist and decreases the faith of the Muslim.
Just because of the title. And I say many of these things as a result of a lack of knowledge, and lack of understanding of the principles behind the thing that we look at the area of knowledge that we're studying over, we're dealing with, and it's also based on social phenomena. Human beings are social beings, right? Whether we like it or not, we love people, right? All the time. But generally speaking, we like to be around look at today, you're on a bunch of people. So and the social norm is developed as a result of our need to belong, and I need to feel certain. This is called informational social influence, or normative social influence. If I'm uncertain about something, I'm
going to go to the masses to gain that certainty.
Conversely, if I'm certain about something, but I have a need to belong, I may give up my beliefs, just to adopt your beliefs because it's the consensus or it's the masses. That's how you manipulate societies, right? That's the social norm, we have a need to belong, and we have a need to feel certain. And that's why in your intellectual, spiritual journey, just try and ask yourself questions without your phone and think, and just, you know, meditate upon your own self and introspect, as the Quran says, think within yourself, will fit on physical mephala too soon in themselves, do they not see, reflect and ponder? I will let me attack your roofie on forcing him reflect within yourself and
find out? Is it really because of a scientific principle that I'm denying God? Is it really because of, you know, there seems to be some kind of contradiction here? Or is it because I just want to belong? And I'm just not certain I don't have the right answers. We need to be more honest with ourselves because I have so many conversations now, with so many different people on different sides of the theological spectrum Stein from the missile theists, which means the hate of God, which is a group of people, by the way, if you read Professor Bennett tries his book,
missile theism, The Untold Story of hating God, you see it, I should just couldn't miss. Anyway, the title, something like that. Yeah. It's very interesting. And then you have the atheist and agnostic and the skeptic and the believer and the partial believer and the Muslim and then whatever the case may be. So there's a spectrum of people's beliefs, which is fine.
When I speak to all of these people, many times, it's not really intellectual argumentation, I'm gonna be honest with you. It's not. And I've realized in my old age of 37 years, and just learning from my own mistakes, is I realized that there's something else going on. And I want to end by making you understand something about first principles. Okay, and I'll end on this we'll have q&a.
Everything has first principles, everything, that if you've been attentive to this lecture, science has first principles or assumptions. For example, you have to believe in an external universe with external causes in the universe, in order for science to work, if you don't believe in external causal connections, game over, you can't really do science. So you have to believe that assumption. It's an assumption. They haven't even sold what a cause and effect is, and the link between them is yet study metaphysics and philosophy. When I did my post grad on it metaphysics, I was like, I'm not doing my essays on this day, it was too much for me. It was Wow, it's like they haven't sorted out
yet, especially when it comes to causality, but you have to adopt it as an assumption, a particular view, as an assumption, or you have to assume it in order for science to works. So science has assumptions.
Mathematics has assumptions. For example, if you study calculus or set theory, you have to believe in infinite or that you could ever observe an infinite but you have to believe in them for it to work. And if you look into the philosophy of science, look at the list of assumptions one of the assumptions are infinity exists, that's it doesn't have to exist in order for everything to work. Even math has assumptions, sizes, assumptions. Math has first principles and assumptions and these are important to have in order for that field of knowledge free to grow. politics has an assumption, the idea of freedom, freedom itself, no
political approaches to freedom
But the idea of freedom itself, the idea of freedom itself, which there is a consensus amongst philosophers that they believe that is has intrinsic value, it's not it's not as instrumental. Freedom is not good for for it's not useful for good ends. Rather, it's an end in itself. It's intrinsically valuable. And when you ask, Well, how do you know this? Why we don't have to tell you because it is intrinsically valuable? It doesn't require evidence. There's your how do you take into account? The fact that you think is intrinsically valuable? You know, the answer is in academia, you won't believe it.
It's based on our intuitions.
So one of the first principle here is that we can use our intuitions to basically take into account key philosophical ideas.
Put that in your philosophical pipe and smoke it. Yeah, that's like, wow.
So you even have that in politics, your first assumptions and principles you have to adopt in order to make sense of the phenomenon that you're discussing or studying or trying to comprehend. Even neuroscientists has assumptions, then study, moderate tome and zoete study, Rowson, all these guys. neuroscience is not philosophically free. You have all these popular magazines, they found coaches in the brain, some fuzzy thing, tweaking going up and down, you know, some electrochemical activity in some area of the brain. No, that's rubbish. Get the real paper see what's really going on. It's based on assumption. neuroscience is based on an assumption which is philosophical, and scientific.
And that assumption is called physicalism, which is the philosophical approach in the philosophy, the mind that things can be reduced to physical processes, but not necessarily physical bits of matter. physicalism is a philosophical assumption that neuroscience needs in order for you to understand what's happening in the brain, concerning correlations between electrochemical activity and inner subjective conscious states. There's an assumption in neuroscience.
Everybody, everything has an assumption, or technically call it first principles. This is the area of metaphysics you require first principles in order to understand the world. So what's Islam's first principle? Let me tell you, since I don't have Talk, I'm going to take this is that right?
So this is Islam's first principle. Are you ready?
Do we have talked by the way?
Behind the bag?
Beautiful. Right. Can I draw on this?
can I do? Good? So here's the songs first principle.
That's the heart by the way. I do apologize if it looks like an obese heart, but it's a heart. Yeah.
So Islam has a metaphysical view of the human being. It basically says every human being has an innate primordial state called the fitrah. Coming from the Arabic word, Fatah which you have words like photron, and Fatah who meaning something has been created within us. And there is knowledge in this fitrah. We're not a tabula rasa. There is total primary knowledge contained in your innate primordial state. That's why children smile, even if they're blind.
This is why we praise things all the time by virtue of the attributes, even though those attributes on affect us in any way we say Bravo, we clap, we laugh, because there is knowledge in the fitrah of what that God is a reality, or the Creator is a reality, and he deserves praise. He deserves
This is contained in the primordial state and you see expressed in human beings all the time, whether we like it or not, it's expressed in human beings. The idea of causality prior causal conditions, prior creative power, we actually do even when we're atheists, we just have God replacements. It was a god. It was a multi universe. Yeah, it was the multiverse. We have good replacements in our language all the time. Praise, we praise things all the time. We stand we smile, we say Bravo, we express a form of praise to things all the time by virtue of the attributes, right? You know, she like, she like football. You like Ronaldo, like, wow, that was a wicked goal. Why?
Because you praise Him by virtue of his football skill, but he doesn't really benefit you in any direct way.
So this is based on a prophetic profound tradition of the Prophet Muhammad upon him the piece that can be found in the authentic narrations as narrated by Muslim where he said that every child is born in this state, this primordial state, which is acknowledgement of God and the affinity to praise but what happens as a result of parenting society, sins, education, etc is that this promote you stay
this primordial state is crowded. So what is some says is that most and the job of a Muslim, generally speaking, is to help people on cloud, their primordial state? How can you do that you could do it by using reason.
You couldn't do it by using love. You can do it by using questions
you can do by basically getting people to see the experiences negative, positive, or spiritual in a different way.
These things are not ends, they just means to awaken the truth within, say, shines through.
And this is why in our discourse as Muslim, sometimes we rely on this too much. Sometimes we don't rely on anything. And we become intellectual abstract robots thinking we can prove our tradition in some kind of robotic intellectual fashion. Here's a deductive argument. Human beings are not functional computerized models. We're not robots. We're dynamic. And what's very interesting is, when I engage with people, when you give them a reason, sometimes they'll give you a rational question, that is a sign that reason is not required anymore. Like I will give someone an amazing argument for God's existence, I think is amazing. Like, okay, I agree with you. But what was God
doing for eternity before he created the universe?
And I'm thinking in my head, okay, well, it's a rational question. But how does that Christian undermine my conclusion.
And if you think that is enough for you to stay on your path of disbelief, that denying the divine, then for me, it's an indicator of something else that's going on, it's got nothing to do with rationality, it's got to do with maybe psychodynamic stuff. How many times have I spoken to people, and this is all my limited experiences, and it could be wrong. Like, I started speaking about their parents. And that was the main reason why they basically rejected faith. Because they had a very negative, dark, medieval understanding of a tradition, and they just felt really sad.
And yet, in the beginning, they'll give me all of these amazing arguments against God. But then when you unravel it, then you find out it had nothing to do with that. And these are my experiences. So why am I mentioning this is because Islam has this first principle as well. And, you know, sometimes we,
you know, we don't we don't have this intellectual and spiritual maturity, to understand the human being as the human being. And sometimes we treat them as intellectual robots. Why am I saying this? Because at the end of the day, you know, we should encourage everybody, when we interact with each other to have positive experiences are not just relying upon, I'm going to prove you wrong. That's the point I'm trying to make.
How many times have I seen people embrace a faith? They embrace Islam or even love Islam a little bit more? They may not be Muslim, but I appreciate it just because someone said, I don't know.
Or someone said, I don't know. But I'm gonna buy a coffee.
Yeah, so we have a first principle, which makes sense of Islamic epistemology as well, because you start with knowledge. If you start with primary knowledge that God exists, and he, and he deserves praise, then the whole of Islam is all about awakening that within you, it's already inside you.
And if you start with a primary knowledge, then you could end up with true knowledge. But if you start with nothing, then you'd always be in a state of skepticism. Anyway, there's more to it than that. But I thought I'd bring that into the discussion is the end of the topic, I think we can conclude that science doesn't really hasn't killed religion hasn't killed God, or did not lead to atheism. And one of the reasons for that is because when we study the philosophy of science, we will see that science is beautiful, but it's not what we thought it was, and it's not enough to use as a baseball bat to break down the divine and break down His revelation. So thank you so much for